Remember when you were a kid, and you had to do chin-ups at school? OMG, that was the worst thing ever! I always cheated and took a little jump up, so I always got a count of at least one. That second one was murder. And the third? Forget it. Same with push-ups. To this day, when I think of push-ups, I see the unmoving gym floor swim before my eyes…
And so it is with marketing your own novel, as I am marketing mine. Which novel(s) do we speak of? Why, Droppington Place and Marigold’s End, of course. You’re a writer. You know how it goes.
Marketing is all about getting people to pay attention to you. You could make YouTube videos – tried that. You could make your own website – mine is right here: PhineasCaswell.com. You could make podcasts or something.
Whatever you do, you have to somehow drive traffic to it. That’s the key, the thing, the line over which you must cross to become the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.
So, I’ve been posting oodles of posts about the famous pirate Blackbeard on my site (see the shameless marketing plug above). In particular, I’ve focused on his most notorious ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Beyond that cool name, there’s just not much information available about her, which I take as a personal challenge. Why?
Okay, sit down – you’re not gonna believe this. My next novel deeply involves Blackbeard. Whoa! Huh? Did not see that coming, right? Blackbeard was born in 1680. My character Phineas Caswell, hero of Marigold’s End, a Phineas Caswell Adventure, was born in 1694. Both were sailing around the Caribbean at the same time, 1706… See? Those gears are a’turnin’,right? Blackbeard was 26 – in command of privateers or something, right? And Phineas… well, I leave it to your imagination to link those guys together. Or, actually, to MY imagination…
Anyway, I just ran a Google search on the phrase Queen Anne’s Revenge. My website didn’t show up on the first page, or the third, or the seventh. I gave up on Page 15, certain that I’m just not out there in the world. In fact, my site would appear, if I could find it, after “great snacks for the kiddos” and “cool dog names.”
Just like in middle school, in gym class, it’s all a question of keeping one’s chin up. Someday. Someday I’ll cross some magical line and come up on the first page of a Google search. And then the angels will sing, and the heavens will open up, and somebody will click through, visit my site, and buy my books.
Or, I could win the Powerball. The odds seem to be about the same.